Shared vision for long-term cooperative action | Centre for Science and Environment


Shared vision for long-term cooperative action

 
 
 
Background
The Bali Action Plan agreed upon a comprehensive process in order to reach an agreed outcome and adopt a decision at its 15th session (Copenhagen) on “a shared vision for long-term cooperative action, including a long-term global goal for emission reductions, to achieve the ultimate objective of the Convention, in accordance with the provisions and principles of the Convention, in particular the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, and taking into account social and economic conditions and other relevant factors”.

This work plan is being discussed under Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention (AWG-LCA).

 

Quick summary

In terms of what the ‘shared vision’ should be, developing countries such as China and Brazil stand firmly by the UNFCCC; such a vision can only be guided by the principle of ‘common but differentiated responsibilities’, so maintaining the legal distinction between Annex 1 and non-Annex 1 countries.

Japan, echoing what many developed countries want, wishes to abolish this distinction. It wants a new protocol beyond 2012 or an amended Kyoto Protocol so that all countries take responsible actions.

The definition of Annex i countries should be changed based on GDP, per capita emissions, cumulative emissions or future emissions. It further wants to differentiate within developing countries, creating segments, of those who must act now; those who can act later.

In terms of stabilising emissions, there is consensus that the long-term goal is emission reduction by 2050. But there is clear division, and much animosity, about what happens in the interim.

Developing countries are united in demanding Annex-1 countries must take on mid-term emission reduction targets, a 25-40 per cent reduction by 2020 (India says ‘more than 25-40 per cent’) from the 1990 baseline.

Japan, contrarily, believes all parties ‘should adopt the long-term goal of achieving at least 50% reduction of global emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) by 2050’; crucially, it does not suggest a base year.

The EU concurs, except that it politely inserts 1990 as the base year; it is even willing to undertake ‘clear mid-term targets’, provided there are ‘fair contributions from all Parties’.

‘Equity must be central to the way forward’, India believes. ‘This requires that any stabilization target should be achieved on the basis of the principle that each human being has an equal right to the common atmospheric resource, accounting also for the histori­cal responsibility of developed countries in building the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere’.

The international community must, therefore, agree to an ‘equitable sharing of carbon space’. India feels a paradigm of convergence of per-capita emissions of developing and developed countries, also accounting for the historical responsibility of developed countries, provides an equitable approach to fair burden sharing.

China (misc.5)

Long-term vision is to be guided by the ultimate objective of the Convention and the principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities” between developed and developing countries, with developed countries taking the lead in reducing their emissions of greenhouse gases, while ensuring development rights and spaces for developing countries.

While it is desirable to share views on the long-term global goal for emission reductions, it is most important to firstly set the mid-term emission reduction target for developed country Parties. Only with such a mid-term target being clearly determined, is it meaningful to talk about any long-term goals for emission reductions.

European Union (misc.2)

International community should pursue a pathway compatible with the limitation of global average temperature increase to not more than 2°C above pre-industrial levels. This will require a reduction in global emissions of at least 50% from 1990 levels by 2050, which means that global greenhouse gas emissions will have to peak by 2020 and decline thereafter.

This means that by 2050, global average greenhouse gas emissions per capita should be reduced to around two tonnes CO2 equivalent, and that, in the long term, gradual convergence of national per capita greenhouse gas emissions between developed and developing countries would be necessary, taking into account national circumstances.

India (October 17, 2008)

Equity must be central to the way forward. This requires that the any stabilization target should be achieved on the basis of the principle that each human being has an equal right to the common atmospheric resource accounting also for the historical responsibility of developed countries in building the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Developing countries cannot be denied access to their equitable share of the global atmospheric resource and carbon space. Equitable sharing of the carbon space, therefore, needs to be urgently agreed to by the international community. India’s per-capita emissions will not exceed those of developed countries.

A paradigm of convergence of per-capita emissions of developing and developed countries, also accounting for the historical responsibility of developed countries, provides an equitable approach to fair burden sharing.

The Right to Development must be fully respected in the climate change regime.

Any stabilization target, howsoever ambitious, cannot be misused to seek a revision of the provisions of the Convention -- principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities. If achievement of a global stabilization goal necessitates mitigation measures in developing countries, the latter must be compensated by the developed countries to the extent of the full incremental costs.

It is a matter of deep concern that the emissions of Annex I countries have been steadily increasing since 2000, contrary to the provisions of the Convention. UNFCCC data reveals that total Annex I emissions rose from 17,719 Tg CO2 equivalent in 2000 to 18, 182 Tg CO2 equivalent in 2005.

Moreover, there have also been increases in terms of per-capita emissions in the Annex I countries. This alarming trend must be immediately reversed. All Annex I countries should adopt deep emission reduction targets for the medium term based not only on technology options but also by adopting specific policies and measures that promote sustainable patterns of consumption and production, including life-style changes.

We, therefore, call on the Annex I countries to adopt targets for reduction of their emissions by more than 25-40 percent by 2020, with further reductions through policies and measures that promote sustainable lifestyles from the 1990 baseline.

Japan (misc.5)

Wants a new protocol beyond 2012 or amend Kyoto Protocol so that all countries take responsible actions.

All Parties should adopt the long-term goal of achieving at least 50% reduction of global emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) by 2050 as a shared vision. Toward realizing this goal, the peaking-out of the global GHG emissions in the next 10 to 20 years should be pursued. ( note: no base year suggested )

The definition of Annex 1 countries should be changed based on GDP, per capita emissions, cumulative emissions, future emissions etc. It further wants to differentiate within developing countries by dividing them into three categories:

  1. Developing countries which are expected to take further mitigation actions, based on their economic development stages, response capabilities, shares of GHG emissions in the world etc:
  2. Developing countries whose emissions are very little and which are vulnerable to adverse effects of climate change, especially LDCs and SIDS;
  3. Other developing countries

Based on the above categorization of developing countries, those countries under Category 1 (expected to take mitigation actions) must take binding targets for “GHG emissions per unit” or “energy consumption per unit” in major sectors and binding targets for economy-wide “GHG emissions per GDP” or “energy consumption per GDP”.

These countries should submit its voluntary national action plan, including policies and measures for mitigation. All these will be measurable and verifiable targets.

Other developing countries will be required to submit voluntary national action plan, including policies and measures for mitigation, to the Conference of the Parties. The voluntary national action plan should be reviewed periodically.

Japan wants a graduation mechanism in place to move developing countries from based on economic and emissions criteria so that they can take binding commitments in the future.

  • When a developing country has met the conditions of an upper group in the light of such criteria as indicated in (1)(a), due to its economic development and so on, that country should be graduated into the upper group upon a COP decision.
  • A country which voluntarily commits itself to stricter mitigation commitments or actions should be included in the upper group, even if the country does not meet the conditions set out for the group.
US (misc.2)

“Unlike other elements of the Bali Action Plan (e.g., mitigation, financing), there is less clarity when it comes to determining the meaning/purpose of the “long-term vision.”

Brazil (misc.5)

The principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities manifests itself in the very structure of the Convention. It is based on elements such as distinct historical responsibilities regarding global warming, distinct financial and technological capabilities and distinct national development challenges.

A shared vision should reiterate the established legal distinction between the obligations of Annex I and non-Annex I Parties.

Brazil considers a global goal as an important element of a shared vision. It should reflect the best available science, particularly IPCC AR 4 and recommendations therein. This includes ambitious mid-term goals for Annex I Parties of at least 25% to 40% reductions, regarding 1990 levels, by 2020.

FCCC/AWGLCA/2008/16

On principles for contribution by different groups of countries to long-term cooperative action (see also chapter III), Parties proposed that: 

(a) There is need to take into account different national circumstances (Canada,  MISC.1/Add.2; New Zealand, MISC.5), including specific needs and special circumstances of developing countries (Rwanda, MISC.1; Argentina, Brazil, Singapore,  MISC.5), of those particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change, and of  those who will bear a disproportionate burden (Argentina, MISC.5), and to take into  consideration the limitations faced by alternative-energy-disadvantaged countries  (Singapore, MISC.5); 

(b) Efforts by Parties should be comparable in relation to their capabilities and social and economic conditions. The establishment of key indicators for guidance in this regard would be helpful, to increase transparency and inspire trust (Iceland, MISC.1); 

(c) A shared vision should reiterate the established legal distinction between the obligations  of Annex I and non-Annex I Parties (Brazil, MISC.5); 

(d) New sight on the differentiation among Parties is required (Australia, MISC.1/Add.2;  New Zealand, Russian Federation, MISC.5), based on recent advances in scientific knowledge and changing social and economic situation in the world (United States,  MISC.1; Russian Federation, MISC.5).

Specific proposals include development of: 

  1. A dynamic continuum with different commitments, actions and support for  different countries based on common, objective criteria to guide mitigation  commitments and actions (New Zealand, MISC.5); 
  2. An objective basis for graduation of non-Annex I Parties to the Annex I list or  additional lists which may be adopted under a future framework, with a view to  all advanced economies adopting a comparable effort towards the mitigation of  climate change (Australia, MISC.1/Add.2);

(e) Developed countries should: 

(i) Take the lead in combating climate change and the adverse effects thereof  (Philippines, MISC.1; Argentina, Brazil, China, MISC.5), not only in mitigation  but also in adaptation (Philippines, MISC.1); 

(ii) Provide developing countries with adequate, predictable, and sustainable  financial and technical support and, where appropriate, technology transfer  (Rwanda, MISC.1; Singapore, MISC.2; Argentina, MISC.5);  

(iii) Take more responsibility for historical and present emissions through greater  commitments, tangible results (implementation) and technology transfer and  increased resources to support developing countries (Panama on behalf of Costa  Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama, MISC.5); 

(iv) Take on the bulk of the emission reduction effort through binding commitments,  and cover a large part of the cost of mitigation and adaptation efforts by  developing countries, particularly the low and medium income countries  (Pakistan, MISC.1/Add.1); 

(f) Efforts by developing countries should be supported and enabled by technology and  substantial financial support and capacity-building from developed countries in a reliable  and predictable manner, and in accordance with the national circumstances and capability  of the receiving countries (Norway, MISC.5); 

(g) Financial and technological assistance from developed countries is essential to help  developing countries make the switch to alternative energy sources (Singapore, MISC.5); 

(h) An important equity factor for determining burden sharing is the principle of historical  responsibility for climate change (Brazil, Turkey, MISC.5); 

On the level of stabilization or temperature increase, Parties proposed: 

(a) Limiting global average temperature increase to 2 °C above pre-industrial levels (Iceland,  EC and its member States, MISC.1; Norway, Panama on behalf of Costa Rica, El  Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama, MISC.5);

(b) Making efforts to ensure that global mean temperature increase does not increase from  2.0 to 2.4 °C (LDCs, MISC.1); 

(c) Limiting further global temperature rise to the lowest level possible by setting global  GHG emission reduction goals in line with the suggestions in the IPCC AR4 (Pakistan,  MISC.1/Add.1); 

(d) Stabilizing GHG concentrations as far below 450 ppm CO2 equivalent as possible  (Panama on behalf of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama,  MISC.5); 

(e) Stabilizing GHG concentrations in the atmosphere at the lowest levels assessed by the  IPCC to date (EC and its member States, MISC.1). 

(f) Science can provide no single reference point at which a rise in the average global  temperature would cross a boundary between safe and dangerous anthropogenic  interference with the climate system. Determining ‘dangerous anthropogenic interference  with the climate system’ in relation to Article 2 of the UNFCCC involves value  judgements (Australia, MISC.1/Add.2). 

On the peaking time of global emissions, Parties proposed that they should peak: 

(a) In 2000–2015 (Maldives on behalf of LDCs, MISC.1); 

(b) In the next 10–15 years (EC and its member States, MISC.1; New Zealand, MISC.5); 

(c) In the next 10–20 years (Japan, MISC.2). 

On the quantification of a long-term global goal for emission reduction, Parties proposed that: 

(a) The year 2050 is an appropriate target date for the long-term global goal (Australia, MISC.1/Add.2); 

(b) Global emissions need to be reduced to well below half of the levels in 2000 by the  middle of the twenty-first century (EC and its member States, MISC.1); 

(c) There should be at least a 50 per cent reduction of global emissions by 2050 (Ukraine,  MISC.2/Add.1; Japan, Russian Federation, MISC.5); 

(d) A deep cut in emissions with an early peaking year is required (Bangladesh, MISC.1); 

(e) The goals could be tied to specified levels of atmospheric concentrations of GHGs  (Norway, MISC.1). 

On contribution by different groups of countries to the achievement of the long-term goal, Parties proposed that: 

(a) Developed countries need to continue to take the lead in reducing global GHG emissions  (EC and its member States, MISC.1; Japan, Singapore, MISC.2);

(b) Deeper absolute reductions in emissions are required from developed countries (Brazil, MISC.5);  

(c) The following ranges of emission reduction commitments should be adopted by   developed countries as a group:  

  • Emission reduction commitments for developed countries as a group in the range   of 25–40 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020 (EC and its member States, MISC.1); 
  • Mid-term goals for Annex I Parties of at least 25–40 per cent reductions below   1990 levels by 2020 (Brazil, MISC.5);  
  • Indicative range of emissions for Annex I Parties as a group of 25–40 per cent   below 1990 levels by 2020, in the context of a global goal and agreement that has   comparable effort from all developed countries and NAMAs from developing   countries that reduces their aggregate emissions in the range of 15–30 per cent   below baseline (New Zealand, MISC.5);  

(d) There is a need for substantial deviations from baseline (business-as-usual) emissions in several developing regions in addition to the absolute emission reduction commitments of 25–40 per cent by industrialized countries by 2020 (EC and its member States, MISC.1);  

(e) Developing countries should implement mitigation actions, supported by finance and   technology, with a view to deviating emissions trends from the baseline (Brazil,   MISC.5);  

(f) For developing countries the only way to contribute to a long-term global goal for   emissions reductions would be through the pursuit of sustainable development, that is, the integration of climate change considerations in socio-economic development planning   (Philippines, MISC.1); emission reductions in these countries to meet any agreed global   goal necessarily require support for technology development and transfer, capacity building  and financing from developed countries (Argentina, MISC.5).  

 

 

CoP19
CoP19/Warsaw
CoP18
Doha, Qatar
CoP9
Milan, Italy
CoP17
Durban, South Africa
CoP8
New Delhi, India
CoP16
Cancun, Mexico
CoP7
Marrakech, Morocco
CoP15
Copenhagen, Denmark
CoP6
The Hague, Netherlands
CoP14
Bonn/Poznan
CoP5
CoP5 Bonn, Germany
CoP13
Bali, Indonesia
CoP4
Buenos Aires, Argentina
CoP12
Nairobi, Kenya
CoP3
Kyoto, Japan
CoP11
Montreal, Canada CMP 1
CoP2
Geneva, Switzerland
CoP10
Buenos Aires, Argentina
CoP1
Berlin, Germany
 

Uthra Radhakrishnan
Email: uthra@cseindia.org
Tel: +91 11 29955124